Redeye by James Lovegrove

Rating 9.0/10
In your face door kicking down good!

The eastern seaboard of the USA is experiencing the worst winter weather in living memory, and John Redlaw is in the cold white thick of it. He’s come to America to investigate a series of vicious attacks on vampire immigrants – targeted kills that can’t simply be the work of amateur vigilantes. Dogging his footsteps is Tina “Tick” Checkley, a wannabe TV journalist with an eye on the big time. The conspiracy Redlaw uncovers could give Tina the career break she’s been looking for. It could also spell death for Redlaw…

Redeye, the second book in the Redlaw series, follows up on the events in Redlaw, the first book of the series. I really had a great time reading Redlaw, especially due to the fact that James Lovegrove introduced a great main character John Redlaw, a SHADE officer past his prime but badass nonetheless. Though there was a pretty solid ending of Redlaw, James Lovegrove managed to get off to an interesting start in Redlaw: Redeye and proved again that his Redlaw series is awesome!

This time Redlaw is not in the UK but has travelled after the events and a hint of a Sunless to the US of A. Similarly to Redlaw, James Lovegrove managed to get the setting just spot on with the prologue. Again you see a vampire being chased but differently. When I first saw the cover, with the paramilitary troops on the cover, I thought they would be the same as SHADE, but was I wrong. The prologue centers around a military unit known as Red Eye, and consists of numbers one through to seven. But after this prologue I had many question regarding this unit, what are they up to? Who is their leader? And more importantly: What are they?

Again you follow the main protagonist, John Redlaw, who after the events of Redlaw is considered a rogue SHADE agent and before he can be caught he went to the US of A to investigate several brutal and vicious murders done to American vampires. Those are said to not be done by a similar faction like the Stokers. Like I mentioned before the character of John Redlaw is just cool, he is a man of faith but instead of being against the vampires he grew to become more a defender of the vampires, leading up to the ending of Redlaw and now is a human Shtriga, a vampire leader and is now actually more in league with the vampires but not per se against the humans though. Instead he does his best to defend them. This is shown rather neatly as the plot unfolds along Redlaw: Redeye. Where John in the end has a flock of them. John remains true to his rough, badass, devoted attitude, especially seen in colourful detail around the Red Eye unit. Where gets his thing on with his trusted cindermaker!

Another great addition to the storyline is the NYC reporter Tina Checkley. When I first encountered her and read her dialogue, it put – though the setting of the book was dark and grim – a huge grin on my face. Tina wants to be a big time reporter but has not gotten the chance to fully breakthrough, but with John in town she is taking a huge risk in trying to breakthrough. I perceived Tina as either having ADD or having eaten too much sugar, she is quite hyperactive in the beginning and conversing with John showed that John had quite something to endure. Tina, more than once, makes fun of John's accent and the fact that he is British - the descriptions and the dialogue really cracked me up. With the entry of Tina, the storyline became next to dark and grim also more light-hearted. In the end, when there are some big revealing plot wise, Tina changed as well but I found this a bit too sudden and was actually hoping that James Lovegrove would either give a very good explanation or that something else would happen. I am not going to say what happened, but I was pleased with how this was explained, a nice stab in the back, but for which party? That is for you to discover!

I must say that the storyline felt a bit more basic that the first book. The first book centred around introducing John Redlaw, The SRA and a bad guy Nathanial Lambourne, who had something sinister in plan for the Sunless. Though the storyline of Redlaw:Redeye is chockfull of hard, brutal action, based on the Red Eye unit and John Redlaw, it felt that the construction of the storyline was more plainly. Similarly to the happening in Redlaw, John finds himself again in a grander plot that he first would have guessed. There was one aspect that I really like about the book, James Lovegrove does manage to create a grander plotline for the future with the happenings in Redlaw: Redeye. He neatly links Nathanial Lambourne of the first book with Howard and adds a third person to the equation. What I liked about this introduction is that it gave a certain setting to the story with rich millionaires, who think they are above the law and can do anything if they just wave money at it, making things appear and disappear. Hopefully with the introduction of the third millionaire James Lovegrove will go for a third book.

This time around there is again a bad guy in the story Howard, who has managed to “weaponise” vampire DNA. This was pretty coolly done reflecting nice in the Red Eye unit, and with this element in the story combined with the personality of John Redlaw a great action filled book.

Redlaw: Redeye is a good book but compared to the first book, there was just a bit less magic to it. Though the action, the battle and the persona of John are still great as well as the introduction of Tina to the story was very cool and gave on certain scenes a light-hearted and laugh aloud moments. It did fall to notice that the book was not as carefully constructed as the first book. Showing a bit more rash and a bit unexplained moments, that could have used with some more elaboration. But I do think that the goal is achieved with delivering another sensational action-filled volume to the Redlaw series. The Redlaw series for me is just in your face door kicking down good!

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